Last Wednesday night, I journeyed out to the Great Scott in Allston where The Riot Before was playing their Boston tour stop with Cheap Girls. The Richmond, Virginia punk rock outfit released "Fists Buried in Pockets" back in 2008 and have been touring pretty heavily since it's release. Now awaiting their release of "Rebellion", due out April 27th, the band is once again hitting the road. Singer and guitarist, Brett Adams, was kind enough to let me interview him. He turned out to be a really awesome dude and we ended up talking about some pretty random stuff. Enjoy!

Tom: Why don’t we start by having you introduce yourself.

Brett: My name is Brett and I sing and play guitar in The Riot Before.

Tom: You guys are currently on tour with Cheap Girls. How is the tour going and are you playing any of your new songs from your upcoming album?

Brett: Tour has been going really well! We’re old friends with Cheap Girls so it has been super fun just coming and hanging out with them. There hasn’t been any sort of lag of getting to know the bands. It’s only two weeks that we’re out with them and a lot of times it takes a few days to get to know people so we were able to just jump right in and already be friends, which is fun. And we’re playing about two or three new songs a night.

Tom: You guys must be pretty excited for the new album, “Rebellion”. What can your fans expect to be different about this one as compared to your earlier releases?

Brett: I think that it continues a trajectory of our maturity, if you’ve been following us since our earlier releases. I think it’s a little bit faster and it’s a little more diverse as far as just kind of like, it’s overall a little heavier but the heaviness is a little more spread out while some songs are fast and some other songs are slow and heavy. We definitely diversify a little bit. But it definitely sounds like The Riot Before.

Tom: Yeah, the new song “Oregon Trail” sounds really good.

Brett: Oh yeah, that’s a little more of our pop punk kind of track on the record. I like that song a lot!

Tom: So when is the album being released exactly?

Brett: April 27th.

Tom: I noticed on your Myspace page that you guys are urging people to buy the album on vinyl when it comes out. Are you a vinyl nerd?

Brett: I am not a vinyl nerd unfortunately. I had a CD collection growing up and now I am kind of in that place where it is stupid to buy CD’s, like I don’t want another CD. But also, last year I lived out of my car for a whole year and like a lot of this band is couch surfing so that doesn’t play well towards collecting anything. So I would have started a record collection a long time ago if I had the means but I moved to Virginia with almost nothing and kind of just couch surfed. I’m actually looking forward to starting a record collection this year. I think vinyl rules I just don’t have any myself.

Tom: Do you have a record player?

Brett: Uhh, I’m going to. Haha.

Tom: It’s a fun hobby!

Brett: Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. And I like having tangible copies of stuff and on any release artwork is just way better represented by a huge twelve inch piece of paper.

Tom: So since you’re more of a CD guy, what is your stance on the whole downloading music controversy?

Brett: I mean, its hard because I think people should buy records. I download stuff so I would be a total hypocrite if I said I was completely against it. I think there have been times when it has totally worked for the benefit of certain bands. I think I don’t have a good ear for stuff that like. Like, have you ever gone to a store and like someone told you you looked good in a shirt that you didn’t think you looked good in and then you know, three months down the road you’re like I’m really glad I bought that shirt? You know, there’s a lot of stuff on my ipod that I didn’t like the first time I heard it and it’s just there and then three or four months later I’m just like, “this is the best fucking thing I’ve ever heard!” In that way the downloading thing rules because I’m a fan of bands that I wouldn’t have been a fan of if I had heard one song on Myspace and then decided not to buy the record. But you should still definitely be purchasing music. It’s not free to make you know? So if you like it you should purchase it. And that’s for me as well as for anyone else. That’s a speech for myself.

Tom: Onto something a little unrelated…I noticed that you guys are a pretty heavy supporter of the organization, “These Numbers Have Faces.” Can you talk a little bit about what exactly that organization does?

Brett: Definitely! These Numbers Have Faces was started by one of my very best friends a few years ago and the general idea was rather than getting overwhelmed by huge fatalistic statistics about horrible things going on in the world, let’s help individuals who are effected by that. It makes it a lot more realistic and a lot more doable to pick actual people and develop relationships with those people and give them aid. These Numbers focuses primarily on aid through education so they currently have, I believe six maybe seven students in a township in south Africa going to college and they are paying for their college education under the idea that a college education you can’t take away, you don’t just use that up so its aid that grows throughout the person’s life and nothing empowers people more than an education. So if you can give people in an impoverished area education, you’re really giving that area an opportunity to advance and under their own terms as well which I really like because if you go to an area and just kind of blanket help them you don’t know if that’s really what they wanted. You educate them, they go back and they diagnose a problem in their area and help it within their culture and I think that’s really cool. They’re doing a few other things as well but their primary focus is education and I think its phenomenal. And its really realistic.

Tom: Where can people who are interested find out more information?

Brett: . They have a Facebook and a Myspace page. Go to the website and they have a bunch of videos and really good information on there. There is one great campaign that I participate in which is, it costs $23 a day to send a student to college in south Africa so they figured if 30 people give $23 a month, that’s a students entire education expense so they have a $23 per month campaign and you can just sign up. I like to say on stage its basically like one less hangover a month and you’re sending a kid to college. I think its pretty phenomenal, I highly recommend that people do that. You don’t miss that $23 at all and it changes someone’s life.

Tom: That’s really awesome. So you guys hail from Richmond, Virginia which has a pretty good reputation for having a pretty strong music scene. What would you say is the most important aspect for trying to create and support a strong local music scene?

Brett: Well, I guess I would have to say that I should describe Richmond’s music scene a little bit better in that Richmond has a lot of really good touring bands and a lot of really good bands coming out of it but not necessarily the strongest local music scene as far as going to shows and being really kind of supportive in that sense. I almost sometimes describe it as, and this is totally my understanding of it, but it’s almost like its where bands that tour go when they don’t want to see shows. You know, it’s a really hard scene to get a fan base in because everybody tours and everybody is almost in the same place as you. It’s great to live there though if you are in a band. But all those scenes go in waves and so I think Richmond’s scene is coming up a lot better now. There are some houses doing shows, there’s some better venues…we lost some venues which really killed us. So I don’t know if I really have advice for creating a scene except for if you want a scene in your town just do it yourself, like you can’t rely on anyone else to do it for you. If you look at the stronger scenes in this country, it’s a lot of very, very dedicated people. Colombus especially comes to mind. It’s very organized and very dedicated and there’s a whole structure of houses in Colombus where they’re dedicated to putting shows on and it happens and there is a scene as a result. It’s literally DIY. If you want a scene then make a scene.

Tom: What would you like to see change about the current state of the music scene right now?

Brett: You know I don’t really know. I really like the current state of music. I was talking with Corey yesterday, we were thinking about all the bands that are putting out records right now and there are some amazing bands right now that are releasing some very diverse music and I think the punk genre is better than its been in a long time and its very diverse. You look at The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers and Against Me who are all putting out records pretty soon. Broadway Calls put out one of the best pop punk records I’ve heard in a really long time last year. There’s fliers all over this venue for Titus Andronicus who are playing here and that band kills it! So I don’t know if I have any necessary things that I want to change. I think music is pretty good right now if you look in the right places. It’s over saturated but that’s like complaining that you got too much sleep. “Oh no there’s too much music.” Yeah it takes a little work to find it, but it’s better than it used to be I think. You know, I try not to be too much of an idealist for the past.

Tom: Alright, so this will probably be my last question. I like to ask everyone this. If you had to choose, who do you think would win in a fight…all of the ants in the world or all of the humans in the world?

Brett: Uhh. Are there like battlefronts?

Tom: It’s every single ant in the world versus every human and anything that a human has.

Brett: Hmm, I think I would say…wow, that’s a great a question…

Tom: There’s a lot of ants.

Brett: I mean, yeah there’s a shit ton of ants. I’m trying to wrap my head around that. I mean, I would go with the humans just because I feel like we would be able to have some sort of obnoxious something that would destroy them. I mean, there’s got to be some sort of horrible environment ruining chemical we can spray on stuff that could take care of most of the ants. At least have a safe place and spread out from there. There could be quarantines and then we could move on. Or we could get a bunch of six year old versions of me, because I used to collect ants in a jar and watch them dig tunnels, but they would all die. So if you would just sit me out in front I would collect all the ants, put them in a jar and they would all just die. So maybe the main strategy should be to get a bunch of six year olds to jar ants until the entire population is decimated.

Tom: There’s definitely like three million ants per six year old.

Brett: Yeah, exactly. That’s a lot of jars but I mean, they don’t have homework you know…they have time. Just take away the video games, give them some jars and send them out to get the ants. So humans win.

Tom: Six year olds win.

Brett: Yeah, six year olds will save humanity from the ants.

Tom: Awesome I like that. Well thank you very much for your time and good luck tonight! I’m looking forward to it!

Brett: Thanks I appreciate it!

The Riot Before will be releasing "Rebellion" off of Paper and Plastik Records on April 27th. For now, you can hear their newest song "Oregon Trail" on their Myspace at .


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